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A Day of Gratitude: Food pantry to express appreciation for local help

By Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff | Jan 8, 2021

Trinity Episcopal Church's chapel became the permanent home for the Shepherdstown Shares Food Pantry this fall. Courtesy photo

SHEPHERDSTOWN — As it moved to its permanent home in the Trinity Episcopal Church chapel in November, the Shepherdstown Shares Food Pantry experienced an outpouring of help and donations from the local community, which helped ensure its success in serving those in need in the 25443 zipcode area.

According to food pantry volunteer Diane Kradel, the generosity from local businesses, organizations and individuals left such a positive impression, that Shepherdstown Shares’ board decided to hold an event to publicly express appreciation for it.

“It’s going to be thanking all the donors, both big and little, for giving to the food pantry in such a generous way! People have been really great, and we want to thank them, so this is how we’re going to do it,” Kradel said. “We’re going to have people speaking on various things, such as why they donate.

“I know that Martins has donated a lot, along with some other places. Some really big places and people have gone the extra mile,” Kradel said. “But also little places that probably don’t have as much, also have given. It should be a good event that will thank the people who have donated so much of themselves to this cause.”

According to Kradel, helping establish and run the food pantry has been a good experience for herself and many other local residents, desiring an outlet to help those in need.

“There are so many volunteers!” Kradel said, mentioning the food pantry could not have been established so quickly without all of its community support. “It’s really an amazing organization that’s been put together in such a short amount of time.”

According to Shepherdstown Shares President Marianne Davis, the virtual event, “A Day of Gratitude and Hope for Donations of Resources and Volunteer Labor,” will be held on the organization’s Facebook Live page on Jan. 16 at 1 p.m. A recording of it will be posted afterwards on YouTube.

The food pantry, Davis hopes, will make a profound impact on the lives of 25443 residents for years to come.

“Most social services in Jefferson County are in Charles Town. That’s quite a hike from our area for people trying to save on gas. Having a pantry here takes pressure off of Jefferson County Community Ministries, too, while allowing our local community to care for its own,” Davis said, referring to Jefferson County’s major food pantry.

“We want to support people with food and groceries, so they can spend whatever they have on rent. The more support we can offer, the fewer people will lose their homes,” Davis said, mentioning that support is due to all of the individuals and businesses that have invested in the food pantry. “That takes money and it takes hours of volunteer time, and we’re grateful for both.”

Shepherdstown Shares Food Pantry is open in the Trinity Episcopal Church chapel on Mondays, from 1-3 p.m., and Saturdays, from 2-5 p.m. To learn more, visit shepherdstownshares.org.